This past weekend, beginning Sabbath, September 7, 2019, Really Living Centre celebrated its grand opening with members and visitors from across North America. The 25,000 square-foot facility is Ontario Conference’s first centre of influence, serving as both a worship space for Really Living Seventh-day Adventist Church and a community centre, open 7 days a week.
Pastor Dan Linrud, the mid-day service speaker, shared his joy at seeing the seed he planted 19 years ago, as the church’s founder, come into full bloom. He spoke on the church’s humble beginnings as a small group in the basement of church members, how “that small group of believers [from the mother church, Hamilton Mountain] wanted to make a difference by being salt and light in the world.” He exhorted all present to allow Jesus to transform them so they could then transform their communities with His love and truth.
Linrud and his wife, Verlaine, made the trek from Oregon, where he currently serves as Oregon Conference president. Also present were former Living Word associate pastor, Juan Fresse, also coming from Oregon, Ontario Conference president, Mansfield Edwards, who participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony, and Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada president, Mark Johnson.
Before the main service, visitors were invited to take a tour of the expansive, multi-purpose facility at 2060 Upper James Street, Mount Hope, Ontario. The facility will allow for expansion of existing programs, like a plant-based cooking school, free oil change for single parents, boot camp, summer camps for kids and drop-in sports nights, as well as the introduction of new programs, such as sewing classes and indoor rock climbing.
“We want it to be busy every single day, not just on Sabbath,” said head elder, Brenda DeMedeiros, a founding member. “We tried to think of everything. How can we not just meet our needs but also meet the needs of the community. That’s why we’re here.”
“It’s amazing. I’m blown away. I think it’s gonna be really good for outreach,” said one guest, Malissa Flores, a university student from Oshawa.
In an official press release, Francis Douville, lead pastor of Really Living Church, noted, “We are so excited and humbled to have this beautiful venue under our care. Our hope is that many [in the city of Hamilton and beyond] will experience what it’s like to really live as they take part in the activities and events offered within.”
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